Costco Shoppers Are Freaking Out As Hot Dogs Are Listed 'Out Of Stock'

Costco's hot dogs are a big deal. The obsession started in 1984 with a hot dog cart parked outside a San Diego warehouse where the signature item was sold for $1.50. As Costco Connection illustrates, some things never change. Not only did the original hot dog cart operator, Jay de Geus, still work at Costco in 2009 (then as a regional food-service supervisor), but hot dogs still cost $1.50. And as a bonus, the hot dog now comes with a 20-ounce soda and the original Hebrew National hot dogs have been switched out for Kirkland dogs, which are 10% larger (via Reader's Digest). 

So why have these hot dogs remained the same price for the past 37 years, despite inflation? The reason is two-fold: One is that inexpensive eats get customers in the door, and once they're in the store, they're bound to spend more money. The other is that CEO W. Craig Jelinek was literally threatened with death by co-founder Jim Sinegal when he told him they were losing money over the low-priced hot dogs. Sinegal told him, "If you raise the effing hot dog, I will kill you. Figure it out" (via 425 Business). And figure it out Jelinek did. We still have our adored $1.50 hot dog and soda today. So it's probably not hard to figure out how customers might react if this integral part of the Costco experience wasn't available for any price.

Hot diggity dog! Costco is out of hot dogs!

Costco's hot dog deal apparently means the world to some folks. When an Imgur user posted a photo showing that the coveted hot dog and soda were listed as "out of stock" on a store menu board, they captioned it, "It's official. The world is ending. Time to start living in the woods, off the grid." The pic with its original caption was reposted on Reddit, where the Costco-loving community was able to chime in on this horrible occurrence. 

"Sure hope that's temporary and not worldwide!" wrote one user, while another stated perhaps jokingly, perhaps somewhat fearfully serious, "Maybe it's time to cancel membership." The original poster, who pointed out that they get a hot dog about three times per week, said they hit the order button and thought, "Woah." But they also gave Costco the benefit of the doubt, stating elsewhere in the thread, "This was about an hour to close. It's possible they ran out, or something went wrong with the steamer." Let's hope for the sake of hot dog lovers everywhere that this was all simply a mishap that and their beloved wieners will be back in stock soon.